Bukit Batok initiative aims to spur more green activities

A new community farm in Bukit Batok that will donate vegetables to vulnerable residents is in the works.

It is part of the Bukit Batok Green Plan, an initiative launched on Saturday by the Bukit Batok Grassroots Organisations (GROs) and their community partners, including national volunteerism movement Team Nila.

The initiative aims to encourage residents to participate in environmentally sustainable efforts within the SMC.

Other plans under the initiative include creating an environmental task force to look into infrastructure to promote cycling, such as having a public bicycle repair stand and a cycling interest group.

A woodcrafting interest group - which will use wood from trees affected by the development of the upcoming Jurong Region Line - is also in the works.

Mr Murali Pillai, adviser to Bukit Batok GROs and MP for the SMC, who was at the launch, said: "Ultimately... it is about changing attitudes, making sure that... we do our best to ensure we have a sustainable bright spot in Bukit Batok."

The launch of the Bukit Batok Green Plan comes after reports by The Straits Times and The New Paper last month about individuals doing illegal planting in forests and state-owned land.

These include discoveries of gardens at Bukit Batok Hillside Park where pumpkin, okra, tomato and papaya were grown.

When asked if the new green initiative will channel people away from such activities to proper avenues for gardening, Mr Murali said: "I think the creation of allotment gardens would allow our residents to take up gardening and, at the same time, make sure it is done in an orderly way, such that... the estate looks good, green and remains a place everybody can be proud of."

This article first appeared in The Straits Times.